During the first eight months of 2020, police in the U.S killed 164 Black people. This unbridled violence by law enforcement, combined with the disproportionate impact of CoVID-19 on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, lay bare the deadly effects of institutional racism on the health of our communities and force us to examine how racist policies contribute to inequitable health outcomes.
This year’s virtual conference, convened by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS) with support from the Center for Strategic Prevention Support (CSPS), offers prevention practitioners from across the Commonwealth an opportunity to examine our role in perpetuating these inequities and explore potential solutions.
Specifically, participants will have a chance to explore:
- How racism and racist drug policies affect health outcomes
- How the power dynamics present in our communities affect our prevention work, and how we can influence these dynamics
- Ways to restore or develop relationships with community partners, and reimagine what community-led engagement might look like
- Ways to apply a social justice and racial equity lens to our substance misuse prevention work.
The 3-day virtual event will include a combination of plenaries, breakout workshops, and panel discussion. You can view the Conference Schedule here. Participants are also invited to join optional networking and debrief sessions at the start and end of each conference day.
Attendance from all BSAS funded prevention grantees/programs is mandatory as a condition of funding. Funded programs must be represented by the coordinator(s) from the lead cluster community (MOAPC and SAPC), or a designated representative should they not be able to attend.
Please share the conference flyer with your colleagues who might be interested in attending!